People are talking about CommuVélo!
Le vélo : au-delà du transport, by Alexandra Bahary, interview published in Graphite Publications (in French)
CommuVélo – We're not reinventing the wheel, we're sharing it,
CommuVélo took off in February 2016, driven by three enthusiastic volunteers at BQAM. It took no more than a few minutes of discussion for the idea to catch fire and for us to lay the groundwork for the project. Creating an organisation from scratch can be a mammoth undertaking; there was clearly plenty of work ahead. The project being a super exciting initiative, however, it didn’t take long for our team to grow, made up of highly motivated individuals committed to CommuVélo’s vision. Our passion indeed appears to be contagious: we are constantly receiving donations and offers of help to refurbish the bikes.
We’re aiming to gather as many bicycles as possible – old bikes that people no longer use or stores don’t want, as well as those discarded bikes that have been absorbed by the city and can be found lying here and there like carcasses – in order to repair them and provide them, free of charge, to refugees in the Greater Montreal Region.
Our initial goal was to gather and refurbish 50 bikes, along with a pannier rack and a lock. We are already well on our way of achieving this… so no need to hide our drive to refurbish many more. In fact, these 50 bikes were symbolic. We are resolved to expand the initiative beyond increasing the number of bikes; we want to break down barriers between people and groups, and encourage the autonomy of every person. We will therefore be offering workshops on bike maintenance and the basics of bike mechanics so that the people using CommuVélo bikes do not need to rely on paid services for minor bike troubles. We also plan on doing bike tours of Montreal to help our city’s newest members discover and feel comfortable in the city (we think that biking is an excellent way to do this), as well as other social activities.
In other words, CommuVélo is driven by the will to provide socially enriching and environmentally sustainable solutions to individual autonomy.